Top 10 Surprising Facts About Venus
Are you interested in space and want to learn more about the planets in our solar system? Here are our top 10 surprising facts about Venus.
What do you know about the planet Venus? We want to share facts about Venus with you because they’re so interesting you’re missing out by not knowing.
It’s a surprising planet, not least because of its inhospitality. But Venus has many features which are unique within our solar system.
We’re not going to be moving there anytime soon, but it’s a fascinating place. Here are 10 surprising facts about Venus to wow your friends with.
1. The Surface Would Melt Lead
The surface of Venus is 870 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s way above the melting point of lead, which is 621 degrees Fahrenheit. And above the melting point of zinc – 787 degrees Fahrenheit.
Venus’ insanely hostile environment would spell demise for humans very quickly. In fact, the American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson puts survival time at less than one second.
Once you reach the end of this list of facts about Venus, we’re sure you’ll agree. We’re not likely to be colonizing this planet anytime soon!
2. Venus is About the Same Size as Earth
Venus and Earth have pretty much the same size. Venus has a slightly smaller radius, of 3,760 miles – the Earth has a radius of 3,959 miles. There’s not much difference in it.
The two planets also weigh roughly the same (they have the same mass). This is because they are composed of very similar materials. This has led, despite the obvious differences, to Venus sometimes being referred to as Earth’s ‘sister planet’.
This means it also has roughly the same gravitational force acting on objects on its surface. So you could walk there. But only until the temperature scorched you…
3. It Rotates Clockwise, Unlike Other Planets
Most other planets rotate counterclockwise, with their axes lined up more or less perpendicular to the sun. Venus and Uranus are the exceptions.
Firstly, Uranus rotates on an axis which points towards the sun. This means that for all practical purposes it has one side permanently facing the sun, which is extremely hot. The other side faces away and is blisteringly cold.
Venus, meanwhile, rotates counterclockwise. This is unique among all the planets in our solar system.
4. Days are Longer Than Years on Venus
It takes Venus 243 Earth days to spin around once on its axis. But its orbit around the Sun takes just 225 Earth days.
This means that, bizarrely, a day on Venus is longer than a year.
And nights on Venus would last for 120 days. Or three Earth months!
5. Its Atmospheric Pressure Is Very High
92 times higher than the pressure on Earth, to be precise. So even if it wasn’t nearly 1,000 degrees on the planet’s surface, the pressure of the atmosphere would, unfortunately, see off any human explorers quite quickly.
The atmosphere is also largely made up of carbon dioxide, with clouds of sulfuric acid sweeping the planet. This traps a lot of heat – and is a key reason why the temperature on Venus is so spectacularly high.
6. It’s Named After A Roman Goddess
This is quite well known out of the facts about Venus here.
Venus was the Roman Goddess of beauty and love. That’s sort of ironic, given that Venus (the planet) is not particularly beautiful — and is a hard place to love, let alone live.
Julius Caesar claimed Venus to be an ancestor of his. We assume he meant the Goddess and not the planet.
7. Volcanoes on Venus
Our actual knowledge of volcanic details on Venus is fairly limited, but what data we do have shows a high amount of volcanic activity.
The limits to our data are somewhat due to the thick atmosphere and sulfuric clouds make it hard to see the surface. Most of the time, it is heavily obscured.
To the best of our knowledge, there are over 1,600 major volcanoes, and related geographical features, on Venus.
Compare that to Earth, where there are only around 600 volcanoes which are known to have erupted throughout (human) history.
8. It’s the Brightest Planet in our Night Sky
Venus is the brightest visible object in our night sky, besides the moon during certain phases.
This has led to its colloquial name, the morning or evening star. Its brightness means that it is still visible at dawn and dusk, when other stars are not.
9. There’s Sulfuric Acid Rain on Venus
As if the pressure and the heat weren’t enough, Venusian rain is composed of sulfuric acid. There is plenty of sulfur in Venus’ atmosphere, and this is why it appears to have a yellowish tinge.
However, this rain never reaches the ground. Because the surface is so hot, it evaporates before hitting land.
It truly is an unforgiving planet.
10. Venus Used to Have Water
You’d think that with all the facts we’ve just shared about Venus, there’s no way it was ever hospitable.
The truth is far from that. Venus still has water in its atmosphere – although this is only a fraction of what we have on earth.
The water has slowly escaped from Venus’ atmosphere due to the constant heat. But this process took a long time. It’s possible that at one point, Venus had even more water than our planet does today.
OK, it would hardly have been a holiday destination – it’s still so close to the sun that it would have still been incredibly hot. But it’s interesting to know what the other planets in our solar system used to be like before today.
Crazy Facts About Venus and More!
If you enjoyed this list of facts about Venus, you’re bound to enjoy the rest of our website.
It’s packed full of interesting planetary statistics and jaw-dropping space stats. As well as fascinating insights into the history and future of our solar system.
Learn all you’ve ever wanted to know about the planets in our solar system — and find out more about deep space — right here on Cool Space Facts. Learn more about our planets here.